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Government & Politics

Portman Open to Hearing from Witnesses in Impeachment Trial

a photo of Rob Portman
Senator Portman said he wants to get the process kicked off before determining whether witnesses will be needed.

Senator Mitch McConnell says he now has the votes to move forward with impeachment proceedings. One of those votes is Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) who says he’s open to hearing from witnesses.

“The first stage of this is hearing the opening statements, seeing the evidence from both sides, you know, both House managers and the president’s lawyers having the opportunity to make their case and then to see where we go from there," Portman said. "So it doesn’t preclude witnesses and you know I’m not opposed to witnesses if that’s necessary to get the information that’s needed.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to send the two articles of impeachment to the Senate.

Portman says he’s looking back to Bill Clinton’s 1998 impeachment as a precedent.

The Senate adopted rules for that trial, which included the potential for witnesses, by a vote of 100 to 0.